Chicago Holiday Traditions: 23 Ways to Celebrate the Season in Chicago


From Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Eve, there are multiple ways Merry Christmas Wishes   to ensure your holiday spirit stays merry and bright all season long.


Inspired by the 16th century markets in Germany, the market opens in November and offers quality gift vendors, authentic German food and mulled wine in iconic boot-shaped mugs. The markets are open daily with the exception of Christmas Day and special hours on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

When: Chicago location Nov. 15-Dec. 24; Wrigleyville location Nov. 22-Dec. 31

Where: Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St.; Gallagher Way, 3635 N. Clark St.

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Lights

Experience a variety of holidays from cultures around the world with decorations and displays showcasing different traditions and celebrations.

When: Opens Nov. 14 and runs until Jan. 5

Where: Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr.

Chicago’s Christmas Tree Lighting

At 55-feet-tall, Chicago’s 106th Christmas tree sparkles in Millennium Park. The event will feature music from Grammy Award-winning artist Jonathan Butler, a modern Latino Mariachi and performances from Eleanor’s Very Merry Christmas Wish-The Musical.

When: 6 p.m. Nov. 22

Where: Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St.

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

Kick off the holiday season with musical performance, live concerts and a tree-lighting parade along Michigan Avenue.

When: Nov. 23

Where: North Michigan Avenue starting at Oak Street to Millennium Park

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